U.S. Chamber Welcomes Congressional Action on EPA Job-Killing Rule

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 7:00pm

Utility MACT Rule Threatens Electricity Reliability, Global Competitiveness, and Job Creation

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten issued the following statement today upon the introduction by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) of a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval of EPA’s “Utility MACT” regulation:

“EPA’s Utility MACT rule is the most expensive regulation ever for power plants, and has already resulted in the announced shutdown of nine coal-fired power plants in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, placing more than 600 employees at risk.  And more are sure to come: EPA’s own analysis estimates that the rule will cost $10 billion annually—40% more than the total cost of all the Clean Air Act regulations EPA has ever imposed on power plants.  Moreover, 99.99% of the benefits EPA derives from the rule actually occur from reductions not in mercury but particulate matter, a pollutant already well regulated by other EPA rules.  Continued implementation of Utility MACT will place jobs, the economy and the reliability of our electricity grid at stake.

“We asked the administration not to upend the rule but to merely give utilities several additional years to comply.  This request was denied.  Utility MACT will require power plants to be shut down, significantly modified, or replaced, and for gas pipeline and electric transmission infrastructure to be built.  Making these sweeping changes to business operations is a long-term process and will require more than just the three years, with an uncertain prospect for limited additional time, that the administration ultimately decided upon.

“For this reason, the Chamber supports Senator Inhofe’s Resolution of Disapproval of the Utility MACT regulation.  This may be our only opportunity to secure meaningful Senate debate on Utility MACT and to upend EPA’s unreasonable compliance deadline.  A successful Resolution of Disapproval is a strong remedy but would nonetheless allow EPA to issue new mercury-only emissions standards for power plants, and would allow Congress to address power plant mercury emissions through reasonable legislation.  We thank Senator Inhofe for his leadership and stand ready to help get this Resolution of Disapproval to the President’s desk for signature.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.